Thursday, March 31, 2022

Films That I Saw: March 2022


Springtime… shit… another fucking springtime for me to deal with as pollen has once again arrived as it is why I hate this season more than anything else. I get sick during that time unless it’s raining and raining fucking hard. Still, this is small potatoes compared to what is happening as war still rages on with Russians invading Ukraine as I hope someone kicks Vladimir Putin right in his ass along with all of his cronies including that fat bitch Steven Seagal and all of those assholes at FAUX News. It’s bad enough we have people supporting this bullshit Russian propaganda but in this country of ours no matter how fucked up it is? We’re in some bad times right now as there is this growing sense of Fascism happening. While I am living in a state that does have a dumbass governor along with a shit-for-brains cunt of a senator and an Uncle Tom who doesn’t believe in evolution and science while is running a senate campaign here in Georgia even though he lives in Texas. At least I don’t live in Florida, with apologizes to those in Florida, as that state continues to be the embarrassment of this country not because of its governor who is trying to suppress certain teachings but also to discredit those who oppose him including the LGBTQ community.

Given all of the chaos that is happening around the world and here in the U.S. This past Sunday’s Academy Awards ceremony was just as bad in not just its presentation in trying to appeal to a fickle generation of idiots who don’t know a good film if it came out of their ass. It was also in trying to make things exciting which was the opposite while the decision to announce winners in several technical categories on Twitter was an awful decision. Having flavor-of-the-month celebrity guests in the show to appeal to that fickle crowd didn’t help matters as the attention should be on the people who contributed to their part in cinema. Just as things were already bad enough, one bad joke from Chris Rock that brought a horrible reaction from Will Smith just destroyed everything and ended up overshadowing everything else. Even though Smith apologized for what he did, it wasn’t enough as it just exposed him as not just a fucking asshole but also someone who basically outed himself as a cuckold since there’s rumors that he and his wife have an open marriage while they’re also part of a narcissistic family with two of their kids being a bunch of spoiled, no-talent assholes and the idea that they might be Scientologists which is bad news.

With so much that is happening as I just got the news a couple of days ago that one of my longtime family friend’s dog just died as I loved that dog. His name was Jack and was such a good dog. He will be missed as is Taylor Hawkins of the Foo Fighters who died abruptly during the band’s South American tour as it is just devastating for not just the band but for so many who knew him and played with him as I don’t think the Foo Fighters will be the same. It may be a started by Dave Grohl after Nirvana’s dissolution but Hawkins was the rock n’ roll spirit that made that band so great and the only drummer who was an equal to Grohl in the instrument in terms of feel and passion. I wouldn’t know where to rank among the greatest drummers ever but he definitely belongs in that list because he was damn good in that instrument. We will miss you Taylor. Thank you for loving life and music as much as we do.

Another major loss this year in the world of professional wrestling is Scott Hall though his death shouldn’t have been surprising if it had happened years ago considering that he and another wrestler in Jake “the Snake” Roberts were both in the running of a death pool for wrestler deaths a decade ago as they were becoming known more for their drug and alcohol abuse. That all changed in 2014 as both men became sober and were inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame as Roberts has so far maintained his sobriety despite recent health issues in his attempts to quit smoking but is still alive and well. For Hall sadly, the pandemic disrupted his sobriety as he fell off the wagon on-and-off as he struggled to be sober and then earlier this month. He broke his hip and was sent to a hospital here in Marietta, GA near my home where a blood clot did him in as his passing is still devastating. He was one of the guys that made me love pro wrestling ever since the early 1990s when he left WCW to join WWE as “the Bad Guy” Razor Ramon as I thought he was Cuban unaware that he had a career in the AWA in the 80s tagging with Curt Henning.

Though he began his WWE run as a heel, there was something about Razor Ramon that I found appealing in not just the fact that he can work with so many different wrestlers including Sean Waltman as the 1-2-3 Kid whom he put over in early 1993 on an episode of RAW. It was the fact that he just had this charisma about him from the way walked to the ring as if he owned the building while wearing these gold chains and having a toothpick in his mouth and would flick it at you if you disrespect him. He was winning the fans over and it was in the fall of 1993 is where I started becoming a fan of his as it was during this battle royal where the last 2 men would face each other the next week on RAW for the vacant Intercontinental title due to the fact that Shawn Michaels was suspended at the time. The amount of talent in that ring was a showcase for this post-Hogan period known as the New Generation which did focus more on in-ring work, work rate, and making good matches.

Hall was among the pillars of that period along with Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, Sean Waltman, pre-babyface Diesel, the Undertaker, Owen Hart, the British Bulldog, and Yokozuna (before his severe weight gain in 1996). That battle royal which featured a lot of that talent in that time showcased this transition of the old guard vs. the new guard where the last six men in the battle royal were Hall and Randy Savage as the babyfaces going against the heels in Rick Martel, Adam Bomb, and the Quebecers. It was down to Hall, Martel, and the Quebecers where Hall would eliminate the Quebecers and the match was over and pandemonium happened. As a 12-year old kid watching that match, I was over the moon when Razor was one of the last two and to see him and Martel ready to just kill each other despite all of these referees and agents trying to stop them. I was like “let them go! Fuck next week! Let’s do it now!” A week later, the match for the IC title happened and it’s one these gems in WWE’s history that often gets overlooked as it’s a classic match that told a story as there’s a lot of holds and power moves. The ending had Razor win the match and the moment he put on that IC belt on his waist. I was like “damn! That looks good on him”.

Hall may be one of these great wrestlers to never win a world title but holding the IC belt from 1993-1996 in four different reigns I think is more than enough as he helped make that championship feel important back then. It was the workhorse championship but it was more about who made that championship as guys like him, Curt Henning, Randy Savage, Ricky Steamboat, Bret Hart, Owen Hart, Shawn Michaels, Stone Cold Steve Austin, the Rock, Triple H, Kurt Angle, and Chris Jericho from the late 80s to the early 2000s was a title that everyone needed to have to feel important. Hall’s time in WWE is something many shouldn’t overlook as the matches he had with Martel, Bret Hart, Sean Waltman, Diesel, Jeff Jarrett, Goldust, and most of all, Shawn Michaels are among some of the best work during a period where WWE was trying to find itself in the post-Hogan era.

Hall should also be noted as an influential figure for what he did in WCW in forming the nWo and had a good run during that time as part of the Outsiders with Kevin Nash and Sean Waltman although it would be his own personal issues that would cause his career to slow down. During this period where everyone was given tribute to Hall, there were things about him that I didn’t know including a brief stint working in Japan in late 2001 where he put over an unknown young talent whom Hall would tell everyone this guy would be the next big superstar. That young man that Hall put over was none other than Hiroshi Tanahashi who would become a massive superstar and paid tribute to Hall by doing the Razor walk to the ring while also acknowledging Hall’s influence in the business and stated that one of his all-time favorite matches is the WrestleMania X ladder match for the undisputed Intercontinental Championship between Hall and Shawn Michaels which is a fucking classic as is their 1995 rematch in SummerSlam. It is sad that he is gone as friends, families, and those he influenced are going to miss but he did leave a parting word in his Hall of Fame speech that says a lot about who he is.

In the month of March 2022, I saw a total of 21 films in 9 first-timers and 12 re-watches with 3 first-timers being films directed by women as part of the 52 Films by Women pledge. Down from last month but mainly due to the fact that I have to help my mother watch my niece and nephew for much of the day on the week days and barely have time to watch films but still, not a bad month. One of the highlights this month has been my Blind Spot film in The Bigamist. Here are the top 5 first-timers that I saw for March 2022:

1. The Batman
2. This Happy Breed
3. Phoenix Rising
4. The Lost Daughter
5. Wonderstruck
Monthly Mini Reviews/What Else I’m Watching

Train Again
One of two short films that I watched from my MUBI subscription is this experimental short film from Peter Tscherkassky that is a tribute to the filmmaker Kurt Kren. It is mainly a short that consists of many films featuring trains as if it plays into the history of cinema through these gorgeous and dazzling images of trains all shot in black-and-white. It’s only 20 minutes long but it is worth watching for anyone that is interested in the history of cinema.

Private Imaginings and Narrative Facts
The second short I watched from my MUBI subscription is a six-minute silent short film by Edward Owens about life in the ghetto as it is just something simple and to the point. It is a film that explores how people lived and how they had to endure the many day-to-day things as it is something worth seeking.

Moon Knight (pilot)
The new series from Marvel that is part of the Phase 4 TV series marks the introduction of a new hero that comic fans are familiar with but not on live action. Created by Jeremy Slater and its first episode directed by Mohamed Diab, it is a show that has humor but it is really a character study of this man in Steven Grant who wakes up every day not knowing what happened to him yesterday or a few days ago as he finds himself in dangerous situations. It is a show filled with horror and suspense with Oscar Isaac bringing a lot of wit into his role as Steven Grant/Marc Spector as there’s a great physicality to his performance while Ethan Hawke’s performance as Arthur Harrow is really unlike anything he does. It’s a good start to the show so far as it’s definitely something different from Marvel.

Wrestling Match of the Month: CM Punk vs. MJF in a dog-collar match at AEW Revolution
Since his return to the world of professional wrestling in late August 2021, CM Punk has taken things slow to get back into ring shape though the matches he had with Darby Allin, Powerhouse Will Hobbs, Eddie Kingston, and last week, Dax Harwood of FTR have been solid as it showed that Punk still has what it takes. This feud he’s had with MJF for the past few months have been awesome as it all dates to a picture of Punk meeting a young MJF at an autograph signing and MJF wanting to be like Punk only to be betrayed when he walked out on WWE in 2014. The match was violent, bloody, intense, and also extremely personal with Punk using his old Ring of Honor music in AFI’s Miseria Cantare – The Beginning which made things so much better. Adding to the drama was Wardlow who would make his babyface turn by giving MJF’s diamond ring to Punk to help Punk win the match.

This has been a hell of a month in professional wrestling with some shocking events in New Japan Pro Wrestling with Tama Tonga and Tonga Loa of the Guerillas of Destiny being kicked out of the Bullet Club as it’s a decision that I am not happy with. Especially since Tama is a founding member leaving the Bullet Club under the leadership of Jay White who brought back Doc Gallows and co-founder Karl Anderson back to the fold with Bad Luck Fale also turning on G.O.D. The other big shock is Gedo turning on his longtime friend Jado who had been voicing his own issues with White as he and G.O.D. have been fortunate to find some allies in Ryusuke Taguchi, Master Wato, and Hiroshi Tanahashi. The New Japan Cup also happened with Zack Sabre Jr. winning his second cup as he is someone that deserves a title shot as he is one of the best technical wrestlers working today.

The NWA is also starting to get interesting as the championship month back in February between Trevor Murdoch against Matt Cardona was an amazing match with Cardona becoming the new NWA World Heavyweight Champion as it’s only added to his now growing reputation as he’s also been winning titles in other companies and has become the most hated wrestler in the independents in the death match scene. Now he’s taking part in a feud with former NWA world champion Nick Aldis that now involve their respective spouses in Chelsea Greene and Mickie James that is also happening on Impact. It is proof that there’s so much happening right now in professional wrestling that showed that you don’t need flavor-of-the-month celebrities or stupendous buzz-words to sell an event. You just need talent, buzz, and doing the work to make things happen. AEW, New Japan, Impact, GCW, NWA, AAA, and anywhere else that loves professional wrestling. Plus, fuck sports entertainment as that shit is for pussies.

Top 10 Re-Watches

1. National Lampoon's Vacation
2. Trading Places
3. Thor: Ragnarok
4. Chimes at Midnight
5. The Big Sick
6. The Producers
7. WandaVision
8. Team Darryl
9. Necessary Roughness
10. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
Well, that is all for March. Next month, I’m not really sure what I’ll do other than a few films available on streaming as I hope to catch up on a few Oscar winners but also films by Todd Haynes, the Safdie Brothers, and several others while I’m not sure what will be next in my Blind Spot series. There’s a lot of options in my watch lists as I could also do something unexpected. Until then, this is thevoid99 signing off…

© thevoid99 2022


Brittani Burnham said...

That's a great match of Scott Hall's you shared! Lovely tribute. It's a shame he went after going in for surgery. I hate when that has complications.

thevoid99 said...

@Brittani-Thank you. That was the match that made me a fan 4 life. People tend to overlook that New Generation period but that was an education for me as that was what made me love pro wrestling as I had WWE and WCW at that time but I was more into WWE as I felt it was more of a big league and the guys had the roster they had was solid. Bret, Shawn, Razor, Waltman, Diesel, Undertaker, Yokozuna and Owen. Those were my boys. It still makes me sad that things like this during surgery is what really killed them. That's what happened to my dad after his surgery as they stapled part of his stomach and the staples got loose as all of that shit that he was being fed got to him. That fucking sucked.

I feel for Hall's friends and family and a fucking blood clot is what did him in. At least he's no longer in pain as I could see him right now reuniting with Curt Henning in a tag match against Owen Hart and Brodie Lee. BOOK THAT SHIT GOD!